Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I'm filling in for JB this week because she's away. So beware, things might get a little weird around here.


I can't believe I'm posting this, but hey, it's a day for scaring people, right?

This is me and DH as dominoes for a Halloween party a couple of years ago. Two sheets of craft foam, a needle and thread, two black t-shirts and two black pairs of sweatpants and we were ready to go.

What's your best/most creative/easiest/most fun/most ambitious Halloween costume?

PS: And no, before someone asks, we were not Zombie Dominoes. That's my real face.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson juggled 4 sets of revisions at once!

Please give a Killer Welcome to Janis Susan May/Janis Patterson!



Spinning Heads and Other Hazards

Remember the movie ‘The Exorcist’? (And boy, was that really scary when it first came out. I still remember how terrified I was – and I was a grown-up!) There’s one scene where Regan, the young possessed girl, is sitting on the bed taunting the priest and then her head begins to spin around and around. Just watching that scene gave me a headache.

Well, things like that don’t happen in real life, but it sure can feel like they do. I know. I spent most of the summer in a real head-whirling tizzy.

It’s great when you sell a book. It’s spectacular when you sell four in just a little over half a year. When revisions come due, though, it can be literally head-spinning. I’ve sold a number of books in my lifetime, and done publisher-requested revisions on all of them. Never three or four in a row and overlapping.

Luckily all four sales were to Carina Press, though I work with two different editors there, which I gather is rather unusual. Of course, my first two sales were rather unusual. I had submitted two different books in two different lengths (novel and novella) in two different genres (cozy historical mystery and horror) under two different names (Janis Patterson and Janis Susan May) in two different months (don’t remember exactly which ones, only that they were two to three months apart). Then just a few days before I was to leave for Germany to meet The Husband for the holidays Angela James calls me saying she wanted both books. I don’t think anyone realized until that call list was made that I was the same person. I think it was having the same phone number that gave it away.

Sounds rather princessy, doesn’t it? And it was. I enjoyed it to the hilt. Then the real work started when I belatedly realized that when you sell four books in a limited amount of time, you have to revise and edit those four books in a limited amount of time. Editor Liz and I did the revisions for LURE OF THE MUMMY (available now under the name Janis Susan May). I got the revisions for THE HOLLOW HOUSE (available 14 November under the name Janis Patterson) from Editor Mallory. Okay. I started work on them, but there were still a few tweaks that had to be done on LURE. Well, we got through that, but then as I was winding up on the second round of HOLLOW HOUSE, TIMELESS INNOCENT, another horror novella, came up. Then add to the mix DARK SUN, a traditional tale of Gothic romance now retitled INHERITANCE OF SHADOWS. Of course, at that time the first two books sold, neither INHERITANCE OF SHADOWS nor TIMELESS INNOCENT was completely done, so I found myself finishing a book while I edited another. And another. And another.

Gaaahh! Just to complicate things – however wonderfully – during the middle of all this The Husband’s deployment ended and he came home after being stationed overseas for a year. Then we have to go to the coast to pick up the car he bought and shipped home. Double gaaahh! Then there’s his Navy retirement ceremony and… (Deep breath, deep breath) Everything is great, everything is wonderful, and everything has to be done RIGHT NOW.

I started looking for a closet to hide in or, failing that, a tramp steamer on which I could stow away.

Fortunately, all the books were at Carina Press and my editors Liz and Mallory are absolutely wonderful. I don’t know how they did it, but somehow they managed to schedule things so that I was really working only on one story at a time. Rarely was there a quick tweak that had to be done on another manuscript, but we all know quick tweaks are a breeze compared to the hurricane of a full-fledged revision.

I am so thankful for this masterly piece of scheduling, for I confuse easily and could envision a nightmare scenario of the hero of INHERITANCE falling in love with the heroine of THE HOLLOW HOUSE and both of them being stalked by the cat mummy from LURE OF THE MUMMY while surrounded by the creepy figurines from TIMELESS INNOCENT…

Hmmm. Come to think of it, with a few tweaks that could be a viable plot, perhaps called THE HOLLOW INHERITANCE OF THE TIMELESS MUMMY. Let me think on it and I’ll get back you.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The hardest part

JB’s post on Monday about the perfect writing day got me to thinking about all the things that make finding the perfect writing moment, the zone, so to speak, so hard to achieve. Even under the perfect conditions – no interruptions, a never ending supply of coffee or chocolate, the right weather, the right music or the right view, there are still those obstacles to finishing a book that you can’t circumvent, the things you just have to plow through in order to get to the End.

For me, it’s writing the first line. As much as I know any line of a book can be changed and edits are a given, for some reason I can’t get off to a good start unless I’m happy with my first line. I can put placeholders anywhere else, such as the ever popular [insert sex here] or [need a name for the coffee shop], but as tempting as it may be, I can’t start a book with [insert stunningly magnificent first line here]. That opening hook has to be in place before I can move ahead with any kind of confidence in my story.

Hence I agonize over that line. I can spend that entire ‘perfect writing day’ just staring at a blank page trying to decide how to craft that opening. I see that line as the doorway into the story, and if it’s not inviting and intriguing, readers aren’t going to want to step through into the world I’m creating.

Once I get that line down, it rarely changes, despite knowing I can edit it. I’m never satisfied with a filler line. The opening of the book has to be right the first time, or I just can’t move on.

I linger on that blank page, fiddling with words, until the right combination comes along, but I never move from that spot, page 1, until I’ve got the opening line. I just can’t. Once that’s done, I can skip around, write scenes out of order, and even move the first scene to somewhere else in the book, effectively making that hard won first line not the first line anymore – which means I’m stuck again until I write a new first line.

What’s the hardest part of the book for you? Is it getting through the sagging middle? The end? The love scenes? The dreaded synopsis or even the blurb?

How do you deal with getting through the hardest part?

Monday, October 24, 2011

What does YOUR perfect writing day look like?

If you had all the money and time in the world, what would YOUR perfect writing day look like?

C'mon, admit it, we've all had these fantasies of what our dream writing day would be like.



Maybe you imagine writing at the beach, listening to the surf and feeling the sand between your toes. Or maybe your idea of writing heaven would be a secluded cabin in the woods. Or maybe you'd like to curl up at a corner table at a cozy cafe with an endless supply of coffee and cupcakes. Or maybe for you "there's no place like home" and the perfect day would be sent in the beautiful home office you designed.

Or maybe you're like JK Rowling who holed up in a hotel room to finish the Harry Potter series. (If you'd like to stay in said hotel room...be warned, it'll set you back quite a bit according to this.)

What would be the best tools for your perfect writing day? The latest Apple computer? A fountain pen? Legal pads? A leather bound journal? Spiral notebooks?

What distractions wouldn't even exist in your perfect writing day? Family demands? Work obligations? Internet distractions? Housework?


Okay, now what does your actual writing day look like? Do you write on the train during your commute? In your car during your lunch hour? While the kids are at daycare/school? When everyone else has gone to bed?

If you manage to squeeze in writing in the midst of your busy days, I applaud you. I know it's not easy having so many other demands on your time.

If you have the luxury of having hours a day to write and you actually finish something, I applaud you. I know how easy it is to lose focus when the hours stretch out before you.


Tell me KILLER FRIENDS: What would YOUR perfect writing day look like?

MY perfect writing day would probably consist of a hotel room, lots of coffee and feedback. I once had the experience of having 20+ people offer feedback on what I'd written the day before, every single morning for three straight weeks. The act of not writing into a vaccuum was the most amazing gift.

Oh, and a walk on my favorite path in "perfect" weather would be nice too, lol.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Unfinished Business by W. Soliman

Please give a Killer Welcome to W. Soliman!




Thanks so much for inviting me onto your blog.

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I was brought up on the Isle of Wight, the sailing capital of England, but did my best to have as little as possible to do with boats. Years later, my husband persuaded me to get involved. We were at home in Andorra at the time, up to our ears in snow, and were seduced by all those glossy pictures of sleek white motor yachts cutting through the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. How we were to know that the Med is almost always windy and it hardly ever happens like that?

The things I do for lurve! Even so, I drew the line at anything to do with sails. A good strong, reliable motor – preferably more than one – floats my boat. Sorry, couldn’t resist that dreadful pun.

I was quite happy, carving out a niche for myself, writing Regency and contemporary romance. Then boats came into my life and the novelist in me was overwhelmed with all these new ideas. And so my other persona, W. Soliman was born. So too were The Hunter Files, my series of marine crime novels. Write about what you know, and I’m not talking crime here! Unfinished Business, the first in the series, has just been released by Carina Press. Charlie Hunter lives aboard his trawler yacht in Brighton marina and, guess what, his boat, the No Comment, (well, what else would a disillusioned cop call his boat?), is based on a boat we once owned and kept in Brighton.

Here’s the gorgeous cover that Carina came up with. Don’t you just love it?

A little bit more about Charlie. He retires from the police force at 40 to work on his boat and go fishing with his son on weekends, not to become an amateur sleuth. But he can’t say no to Kara Webb when she seeks his help in tracking down her sister, missing for 15 years.

The disappearance of teenager Jasmine Webb was one of the first cases Charlie worked on after being made a detective. He’s never forgotten it or his suspicions, even after the girl’s parents told police they’d heard from her and the file on Jasmine was closed.

When Charlie’s son is threatened, finding Jasmine becomes even more important. It’s no longer just about closure, it’s about protecting his family. Which makes the constant dead ends all the more frustrating. Until Charlie realises that the question they should be asking isn’t where Jasmine is, but who has Jasmine become…

Want to know more? Pop across to my website where you can read the entire first chapter. Answer a simple question and you stand a chance of winning a copy of the book.

Whilst you’re surfing, there’s an even easier way to get in line for a copy of the book. Just go to my Facebook Author Page here click the Like button and leave a message that includes a reference to Unfinished Business.



Unfinished Business Available from Carina Press.com or Amazon.com $5.49

Hope you enjoy it. Do let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for having me here, ladies. It’s been a blast.

W. Soliman

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1, 2, 3...Infinity

Let’s talk about series. My ultimate goal is to write a book series one day – I’m hard at work on the concept all the time. The only thing I’m actually lacking is an idea...

Anyway, I got the series bug from my favorite author, Karen Marie Moning. I got hooked on her Highlander series years ago after literally reading one chapter of one book. I bought her entire backlist and devoured them all. When she started her current Fae Fever series, I was skeptical at first, but ended up completely enslaved by her anti-hero Jericho Barrons and her southern belle turned doomsday warrior MacKayla Lane.

Ms. Moning does a series they way I want to do a series. She leaves her readers desperate for more at the end of each book.

In contrast, I’ve also read all seventeen of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. [Okay, I listened to the last one as an Audiobook.] These books are a fun ride, easy to read and good for a laugh. However, each one tends to leave the characters in just about the same place they began. There’s very little story arc. The upside of this is, it’s a perpetual series. Ms. Evanovich can write adventures for her characters for decades because she doesn’t make any permanent changes to their lives.

Because Moning’s Fever series has ended, I have no doubt I’ll be on board for her next endeavor, but of course there’s no guarantee I’ll become as hooked as I was on her Fae. Because Evanovich’s series doesn’t  seem to have an end, I know if I want an enjoyable read, I’ve probably got a handful more books to look forward to.

Are you a fan of any book series? What draws you in? Do you prefer long story arcs that come to a conclusion eventually, ending the series, or would you rather have timeless characters you can revisit forever?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Pages and Prizes

I thought it might be fun to share a page from my current Work In Progress and for you to share your work too. (If you've read THE FIRST VICTIM you'll see that this is nothing like that, lol.)

Here's a page from mine and I'll be giving out a random prize or two to those of you brave enough to paste a page (PLEASE try to keep it under 300 words) in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you're working on!!! (and if you're not a writer, never fear, you're not shut out, just tell me your favorite line from my page!) I'll announce the winners next Monday!!


**Please note this is a rough draft and has not been edited.

Instinctively I raised my hands in front of my face to ward off any further assault as I backed away unsteadily, desperate to get away. Something hard smacked against my ankle. I fought hard to maintain my balance, but my feet flew into the air and I fell backward.

The back of my head cracked against the tiled floor like an egg on the side of a frying pan, and I slipped into black oblivion.

--#--
They lied.

The ghosts, I mean.

There is a big, bright light.

I squinted into it.

A large, inverted egg-like shape moved into my line vision. I blinked, but it remained fuzzy. I couldn’t make out what it was.

“IK ORRR EEE AHHHH” the shape roared.

My heartbeat skipped into overdrive. Maybe I wasn’t dead after all. Maybe I’d been abducted by aliens!

Maybe I was lying on some sort of some kind of examination table. The surface my back was pressed into was really hard and it did seem awfully cold, just like the operating room had been when I’d had my tonsils removed a couple of years before.

“IK ORR EEE AHHH.”

Maybe the aliens were preparing to probe me!

But then I spotted the chinless-ghost bobbing behind the egg-headed alien so I asked him, “Am I dead?”

He shook his head.

“Not yet,” the alien muttered, shifting position, and blocking out the majority of the light.

Okay Killer Friends, share a page from your WIP or tell me which line from mine is your fave and you'll be entered to win a random prize! Also, please let me know how you feel about getting a glimpse into a writer's process! Thanks!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Win a Copy of DARK FUTURE by KC Klein

Let's give a Killer Welcome to KC Klein. KC is here to talk about her new release from Avon Impulse,DARK FUTURE.





Awakened in the middle of the night by a future version of herself, Kris Davenport is given a mission: go forward in time to save the world—and His life. Of course, her future self doesn't tell her who he is, just sends her into an abyss and straight into an alien invasion.
He turns out to be ConRad Smith, the callous, untrusting Commander of Earth’s army and the world’s last defense. There’s only one way to know for sure if this strange woman is an alien spy—slice her throat. Except, he didn’t anticipate the heat he would feel as he interrogates the hot-tempered, warm-blooded woman. For a man whose sole focus has been survival, she's more temptation than he can handle. But a world on the brink of destruction leaves no room for love…and time is running out.



Take it away, KC!

Hi everyone at Killer Chicks! I want to start off by saying I am so honored to be here. It’s always a blessing to be able to talk about my passion—writing.

In the spirit of Fun Friday I thought it would be cool to do a “this or that” post, but from the point of view of my hero, ConRad. So here it goes. Tell me what you think, and if you leave a comment you just might win a copy of my debut novel, DARK FUTURE.

Night or day?
Since daylight only last a few hours here, I’ll have to go with night.

Love or lust?
Is there a difference?

Redheaded women or blondes?
With so few women here, my only prerequisite is that she’s breathing.

Knives or guns?
Both. You can never be too prepared.

Mercy or revenge?
What’s mercy?

Red or black?
Black.

Summer or winter?
These questions are a waste of my time.

Apple or orange?
Don’t know, don’t care, I’ve never eaten either.

Fantasy or reality?
Are we almost done? I have a war to win.

Okay, okay, one more. Do you believe in true love?
(ConRad narrows his eyes at me, and I get a little scared) Yes. It’s the only thing I do believe in.

Thank you ConRad.

DARK FUTURE is available through Amazon, Avon and most fine e-book retailers.



KC Klein is the author of Dark Future, a sexy futuristic time-travel. She became serious about writing three years ago and was as surprised as anyone when her stories took a turn toward dark and snarky. Today, she divides her time between taking care of her family and driving in circles around Arizona, too busy creating stories in her head to pay attention to mere road signs. KC would love a visit at kckleinbooks.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Old mission in life: Write a NY Times best-selling novel.

New Mission in life: Find a Pinky statue to match the Brain statue my husband found at a garage sale this weekend.

It’s not easy being married to a ‘completist’.  This Saturday, while taking in the seasonally perfect weather and visiting local garage sales, my husband and I stumbled upon this statue of Brain from the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. Of course, it was an instant buy. DH could not have passed this find up if wild horses had been dragging him to a supermodel convention on Mars in a DeLorean.

Fortunately, it was cheap, but we’ve since discovered that a matching pair [with the Pinky statue] of these display figures from one of the now defunct Warner Brothers Stores are highly collectable, it has become my husband’s driving force in life to find the other one.





Here’s a picture of the set.


Nothing would make him happier in the whole world. I have a feeling, though, this is going to be a lifelong quest. I didn’t even know these things existed, or that there were entire forums dedicated to the collecting of cartoon statuary.

Do you have a completist in your life? A collector who cannot rest until they have a certain something to round out a set? Have you ever been on a mission to find just the right item to add to their collection? And, more importantly, do you know where I can get a Pinky? Cheap?

****

Don't forget to drop by on Friday when guest blogger KC Klein will be talking about her Avon Impulse release DARK FUTURE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What does YOUR creative process look like?

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian readers and happy Columbus Day to the Americans!

I'm fascinated by the way different people tackle the writing process and am a sucker for any time someone gives a glimpse into the way they write. For example, I loved this recent post by Alexandra Sokoloff about narrative structure.

I guess I'm always looking for the magic formula which will make writing a novel easier (hahaha!!!!) which is why I've read Stephen King's ON WRITING a dozen times or more. In case you're wondering, while the book is a wonderful gift, I haven't found the formula in it.

So I keep looking.

I have long discussions with other writers about the pros and cons of plotting vs. pantsing.

I try to understand how musician friends "hear" the music they compose.

I marvel at how visual artists are able to translate what they see in their heads to something tangible.

I'm in awe of those who come up with innovative ways to raise funds for the causes they care about.

I'm amazed by parents raising well-adjusted kids in this crazy world.

Creativity in all its marvelous forms surrounds me at all times...and yet the way to capture it and use it to its most productive manner eludes me.

Which is why my current writing project looks like this:



That mess is the way I'm going to finish my next novel.

What does YOUR creative process look like?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Breast Cancer...We're In This Together by Misty Evans

We're happy to have our Killer Friend author Misty Evans with us today.

Breast Cancer…We’re In This Together
Misty Evans


In my teens, I lost an aunt to breast cancer. I watched my cousin, only a year older than me, lose her mom and that experience changed me forever.

During my business career, I worked in public health and was thrilled to manage a breast and cervical cancer program, assisting women who had no insurance obtain screenings and treatment. At the time, I was surprised to find many women who needed the screenings but refused to go, even though the program paid for all of the testing and treatments. I couldn’t understand their thinking and repeatedly belted out statistics and hard facts, sure that my logical approach would convince them they needed to have an exam.

Meantime, I walked at Susan G Komen events, wore my pink ribbon pins with pride, and passed out breast self-examination cards everywhere I went.

My own scare with breast cancer came right after my twins turned four years old. It had been a rough summer. My father-in-law passed away after a five-year bout with a rare type of blood cancer. One of my sons starting having separation anxiety, afraid to let me out of his sight for fear I’d die too. There were issues in the family that were wearing on me. My writing career had stagnated and I had a growing stack of rejections from agents staring me in the face.

And then I found a lump in my right breast one morning in the shower.

All the other problems disappeared. At first, I didn’t believe there was really a lump. I kept checking the area, thinking it was just breast tissue. I tried to reason with the nagging voice in my head that kept telling me to see my doctor. I tried rationalizing it away. I’ll give it another day, I told myself. I’ll have hubby check it and see if I’m crazy.

He did and I wasn’t.

Still, I was terrified to go to the doctor. For some reason, not having the lump confirmed by my doctor seemed less frightening.

I confided in a couple of close friends and one of them went with me the doctor’s office. Once he told me it was indeed a lump, another friend went with me to my first-ever mammogram. In the end, the lump turned out to be benign and my friends celebrated with me. I was lucky, and I finally understood why those women in the health program had sometimes refused our free service. It wasn’t about the money or insurance or lying on that cold, sterile exam table. It was about knowing your life was about to change forever.

Last summer, one of my childhood friends underwent a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation. She’s doing okay now, and I pray for her every day. Another friend and fellow author is a ten-year survivor. Yet another author I know is fighting a very tough battle against this disease even as I write this. All of these women inspire me. They make me wish I could write breast cancer out of our world.

I encourage all of you to do self-exams and have regular mammograms. If you do find a lump, remember it’s normal to be scared. Normal to wish it away and want to ignore it. I’ve been there. I understand. Please, though, for me, stomp on that fear and see your doctor anyway. Take a friend. Take me in spirit. We’re stronger together than we are individually.




Which brings me to Entangled, A Paranormal Anthology. This book is a prime example of what women can do to help other women. The anthology features stories from eleven different authors, including two of the women I mentioned above and myself. All the stories have a Halloween theme, and ALL of the proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For $2.99, you can support BCRF and thousands of women struggling with breast cancer. Because BCRF gives 90% of its donations to research, you might in fact, help find a cure. You might save future women the scare of finding a lump.

Thank you to JB and the Killer Chicks for having me here today. I appreciate you letting me share my story and I’m giving away a free ecopy of Entangled to one lucky commenter. Has cancer touched your family or friends? Even if it hasn’t, join me anyway in spreading the word about breast cancer, self-exams, and research. We’re all in this fight together.

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Barnes & Noble
Buy at All Romance eBooks
Buy at Smashwords

Misty Evans writes romantic suspense, light fantasy and dark paranormals. Her story in Entangled, SWEET DEMON, is the prequel to her new Kali Sweet series. She likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys hanging out with her husband of twenty-two years and their twin sons. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter at www.readmistyevans.com. Like her author page on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview with a Gargoyle

My full length paranormal romance INTERVIEW WITH A GARGOYLE [Samhain Publishing] went on sale yesterday. I’m so excited that this book is finally available. It seems like I’ve been waiting forever. This book went through a lot of drafts before it finally made it to the desk of Linda Ingmanson, my wonderful editor at Samhain.

This was an idea I pitched at my very first writer’s conference, and back then it was nothing more than a two-line blurb. I didn’t even have a synopsis when first got some editorial interest. The story evolved very slowly over time from what I first described as Gothic Chick-Lit [a concept that never got off the ground] to what it is today – I hope a moving, funny, sexy paranormal romance.

There really isn’t an interview in the book – so I thought it might be fun to invite the hero, Blake DeWitt, to Killer Chicks and ask him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say:

Me: The Witch Hunter’s Curse has been passed down through generations of your family. With whom did it originate?

Blake: Percival Blake was an English nobleman who was cursed for the murder of a coven of witches in 1728.

Me: And he was your…how many great great grandfather?

Blake: He was my great to the eighth power uncle, actually. In 1831 Percival’s great grandson was able to pass the curse to his nephew rather than his own son, so it ended up in my bloodline.

Me: How can the curse be broken?

Blake: By destroying the Witch’s Cabochon, a gem empowered with the wrath of the original surviving witch, Birgid Cooper.

Me: It sounds simple enough, but there’s a catch, isn’t there?

Blake: When dealing with witches and demons there usually is. The gem needs a host to exist. It’s resided inside the body of a demon queen for centuries and the only way to destroy it is as it passes from one demon queen to another.

Me: If you could break the curse, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Blake: Get a tan.

Me: How do you plan to break the curse?

Blake: Well, if I had my way, I’d pass it on to that pain in the arse demon hunter Palmer van Houten.

Me: I would think a demon hunter would be a valuable ally.

Blake: You’d think, but I’ve got more demon hunting experience in my little finger than van Houten has in his whole body.

Me: What’s the key to hunting demons?

Blake: Carrying a big sword. Palmer only has a crossbow.

Me: What will you do when you finally track down the demon queen who possesses the Cabochon?

Blake: Kiss her senseless.

Me: What? Really – did you say Kiss her senseless?

Blake: No. What? Look at the time! I turn into a gargoyle at sunrise, so I’d better be going.

_________________________ 
To find out more about Blake DeWitt, Palmer van Houten and the demon queen, visit


Or your favorite eBook retailer

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Publishing Contract Arrives in the Mailbox

I recently received my contract from Harper Collins/Avon for Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman in the mail and because I promised to share as much of the journey of this book as possible, I figured I'd talk about what it's like to receive a publishing contract.

If you haven't yet gotten a contract from a publisher, know that when it does, it will come in a big, fat, heavy envelope. It's a thrill (at least for me) to take that envelope out, to read the return address, to feel its heft, and to know that it's proof positive that you're a "real writer" (whatever the hell that means). Also know that the reason the envelope is so heavy is because it contains multiple copies you must sign and send back.

I know some authors who celebrate the sale of their book when their agent tells them the deal is done. There are those that wait to celebrate until their publication day. Some choose to celebrate when they've scrawled their signature on their contract. (Personally, since publishing moves at a snail's pace, I think it's a good idea to celebrate on each of those occasions!)

Long Suffering was amused (or perhaps offended, I couldn't quite tell) that I didn't rip open the envelope and read my contract right away. It wasn't that I was trying to stretch out the occasion of the paperwork finally arriving (it takes FOREVER between your agent telling you a deal is done and you having the actual proof in hand)but rather that I knew what to expect this time: a headache.

I must admit that when I received my contract for THE FIRST VICTIM from Harlequin/Carina Press, I tore it open and read every single word without even sitting down. This time, knowing that the dozen pages or so would be filled with publishing legal-ese, I was content to take my time.

I read the contract for Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman over a couple of times, asked my agent a stupid question or two, and sent it back. Not a terribly exciting step, but there you go.

Tell me Killer Friends, what do YOU imagine (or have you found) is the most exciting moment in the life of a book? I'm willing to attempt to answer any questions you might have about what the publishing process is like for a newbie, so if there's anything you're wondering about, ask away!

* Tomorrow, Tuesday October 4th, Jennifer Colgan's INTERVIEW WITH A GARGOYLE releases! Don't miss it!!

** On Wednesday I'll be blogging at Not Your Usual Suspects on "All In The Name of Research" so if you get a chance, stop by!

*** Misty Evans will be here Friday with a very special post talking about her involvement with the anthology ENTANGLED.